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Motherbridge of Love

Created by Xinran Illustrated by Josée Masse Barefoot Books; $16.99

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This poetic storybook, emphasizing the love shared between child, mother, and birthmother, is a perfect bedtime read-aloud for our kids.

Motherbridge of Love is a wonderful new book for parents to read aloud to young children. It consists of a 27-line poem that was submitted anonymously to the book’s creator by an adoptive mother. The poem, addressed to an adopted child, warmly describes the depth of love in the hearts of both her birthmother and adoptive mother. Some of the rhymes seem a bit forced, but the book’s overall feeling is one of inclusion and hopefulness.

The lush colors and appealingly stylized manner of Josée Masse’s illustrations are the perfect complement to the text. The images of tree branches intertwining into heart shapes or clouds and autumn leaves forming facial features convey, without words, the love that surrounds an adopted child. As an added bonus, the text of the poem is featured in simplified Chinese characters opposite the title page.

Although my 14-year-old daughter, adopted from China in 1995, is too old for this book, she gamely read it with me. As a teen, she’s reticent in talking about her adoption, but commented that, "The story made me think about children, like me, who were adopted from China." The illustrations reminded her of a "fairy tale."

The book takes its title from the charitable organization founded by the book’s creator, noted Chinese journalist Xinran Xue. Her goals, through the Mother’s Bridge of Love (, are to reach out to Chinese adoptees worldwide and to create a bridge of understanding between these children’s birth and adoptive cultures. This beautiful offering is sure to help her find an enthusiastic audience.

Reviewed by Paula Grande, AF’s marketing manager and the mother of a teen adopted from China.

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